Dennis P. Whalen has a wealth of experience in the public and private sector. He is currently the vice president of state government affairs at Northwell Health, where he serves as the health system’s primary advocate with New York State government agencies and the State Legislature, and works with Northwell executives to align strategic direction, improve operational performance and ensure standards compliance.
Prior to that, he served at the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) as executive vice president and then president and CEO from 2009–2016.
New York State Governor David A. Paterson appointed him as director of state operations in 2008, where he was responsible for overseeing the operation of all 78 executive branch agencies, directing the Governor’s policymaking staff of deputy secretaries, and advising the Gov. Paterson on all state operational matters.
Prior to this appointment, he served both New York State Gov. Eliot Spitzer and Gov. Paterson as deputy secretary for health and human services. In this position, he served as their chief advisor on healthcare and human services policy. He oversaw the operation of 12 state agencies including Health and Mental Health.
From 1996–2006, he served as the executive deputy commissioner of the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and had chief operating officer responsibilities for the nation’s largest state health agency. He previously served as DOH’s director of the Office of Health Systems Management and the director of the New York State AIDS Institute.
Prior to the DOH, he served in policymaking positions at the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, including as Deputy Commissioner for Program Services. He began his career in state government in 1974 as a public health educator at the Department of Health.
He is a graduate of Marist College and the National Preparedness Leadership Institute at the Kennedy School of Government.